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ONE Planet DTP - Tracing interglacial climate and permafrost dynamics using speleothems from continental Eurasia (Ref: OP20205)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project Description: This study targets above research questions using cave deposits from Botovskaya Cave in southern Siberia. Earlier work has proven high sensitivity of the targeted site to permafrost dynamics over the last 1.5 Ma. The new study focusses on the regional environmental responses to global climatic changes during interglacial periods of the last ~420,000 years to inform us on the repercussions to be expected from ongoing anthropogenic warming. This project is embedded in an international team and the student will participate in fieldwork and receive hands-on training in state-of-the-art methods, including U/Th dating, climate monitoring, stable isotope and trace element geochemistry, and organic chemistry. The student will have access to material from multiple interglacials for comparing important warm periods. U-series dating will be performed at University of Oxford, and isotope and element analyses will be conducted at Northumbria. Innovative proxies (organic matter) will be tested with partners at Bern University. Monitoring data is available for nearly a decade, and our partners at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Irkutsk continue monitoring of key parameters. The student will discuss sampling strategies, analyses and results with our partners at the Universities of Oxford and Bern, and with our Russian colleagues. The student will have the opportunity to enhance her/his skills during fieldwork, and present results at workshops and international conferences (e.g. EGU or Goldschmidt). Results are expected to be published in high-ranked international journals.

Prerequisites: An independent team player with advanced knowledge in isotope geochemistry and an enquiring mind would be desirable. Programming skills (R, Python, Matlab) would be advantageous; Russian language skills are helpful. For more information, please contact Sebastian Breitenbach ().

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. OP.....) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

We have a minimum of 12 (3.5 year) PhD fully funded studentship awards available for October 2020 entry. Each award includes fees (Home / EU), an annual living allowance (for 2019/20 this is £15,009) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).

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